Taken in the boss's "quickie" spirit I've plumped for a quickie "No". And probably should've gone for a quickie "undecided". That's quickies for you, though. Always end up regretting them.
I'm glad we snaffled a player of Carroll's quality. It's a cut above our regular standard, for sure. But let's be honest; we didn't win out over the advances of fifteen other European cup-chasing sides to do it. Carroll was stuck with an incredibly narrow range of options, as I see it. Us, or rot. Newcastle didn't want to pay big for him (and Liverpool, somewhat understandably I suppose, wanted the Barcodes of all people to cough the f*ck up), nobody else wanted him. Least of all Liverpool.
But whatever. We got him, and I'm glad about that. And I'm sure the prospect of supplying a fully fit and swashbuckling Carroll helped in some small way to make up Stewart Downing's mind, too. Whether we needed him or not.
It's just: the way we seem to go about things (and I understand that my perception of how things are might be removed somewhat from the facts, or at least from the facts about how similarly "daft" things might be elsewhere; maybe everyone is as hamfisted as we appear to be, I just don't notice the other clubs). Grabbing Downing - great bargain, didn't necessarily need him, CERTAINLY when our limited funds were demanding we prioritise elsewhere; All these "long-shots", "30% chance", "15% chance"... what happened to scouting players properly, securing players before mouthing off? The constant bleats of "We tried, we failed for some cosmically unchallengable reason", almost exclusively through the feed of a schoolboy's Twitter account. "GON has refused terms, we'll get better," "Some Genk player was a wrong-un years and years ago, shall we buy him? Fifty of my biggest windowlickers have said NO, so we won't then, in an act of extraordinarily judgmental prejudice. We listen to our fans! Trust the Davester... I mean, the Jackster! We're still selling the Boleyn though, you f*cking gobshites." (Guess I should qualify that by admitting that wasn't a direct quote but, you know). So very two-bob. David Gold, usually the "classy" one, explicitly saying that an incoming striker will be an understudy. D'Oh! The only club in the league wringing its hands over FFP, a subject about which I'm already sick to the back teeth. I don't want to find merit in the speculative and really rather paranoid argument that our owners "only backed FFP so's they could hide behind it whilst scrimping on the necessaries, like a first team." But it's pretty hard NOT to wonder.
It just feels that everything West Ham - or specifically, our hierarchy; I'm still a big fan of what Big Sam is trying to achieve, despite the lack of a backup to AC that would've had everyone satisfied - do, they seem to do a bit more... crap?... than others seem to do it. I dunno. Looking back at my complaints it would appear that maybe I've got issues over a broader issue that's bled into my feelings for this window. But I suppose it would, wouldn't it?
I would like to add though that I accept it's not Sam's or the owners' fault that no bugger wanted our more shiftable players, or that Diarra picked up an ACL injury just as we'd no doubt have been showing him the door. AND I'd like to add that no matter how bad one might think the window was or the Stoke game was, three games in is NOT the time to be panicking. Although I also think that people who moan at other people reacting (and yes, probably overreacting) passionately to a bad result or unsatisfactory window is far more tedious than the actual kneejerking itself, but that's another whinge for another day.